Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Doing my job, I am often witness to women who are way too hard on themselves and their appearance. I can't talk, I'm no different! The truth is that after having a baby, us Mums are living in a body we no longer recognise and we have to get to know again. Some mothers find it very hard to get themselves back to their 'pre-baby' body, and those who are lucky enough to loose the baby weight are still feeling different in their bodies. Sometimes it's a long journey to feel normal again, or to simply accept and love our new bodies.
I would say that 90% of my photography sessions include family photos, and every session I am very mindful of posing mothers in a flattering way. Through the years I have learnt many tricks! So it might surprise you that I'd estimate 99% of Mums will make comment about how they look when they see their photos. I am often stunned at what Mums point out are wrong about themselves! .................. So let's now address a more serious issue... Mothers who avoid having family photographs taken at all because they don't like how they look. As I previously said, I completely understand these feelings as I'm sure many of you reading this do.
BUT - are we missing the bigger picture here? What about capturing these memories for our children, and it not being about us at all...
❤️ PLEASE MEET MY GORGEOUS SISTER ❤️
My whole life I have looked up to her, and only ever seen her as beautiful. When I started Kiddy Kats Photography, I offered many times to take family photos for her with her gorgeous 2 sons, but always felt a hesitation or got an excuse so I simply stopped asking. It's only now that she is being honest about her reasons why, years later! "Having a sister as a professional photographer anyone would think my house is full of family photos taken throughout the years. But truth be known, I’m like so many other Mums out there…. body conscious & too embarrassed at the mere concept of having a photograph of myself on display for all to see. My boys are now 11 & 8, and despite many years of Michelle’s encouraging words, I managed to find every excuse you can imagine to avoid having photographs with my 2 gorgeous boys.
I recently turned 40 and I dreaded every day as it drew closer. Mortality seemed so much more real… and with that in mind I bit the bullet & bravely asked Michelle if she would consider taking family photographs as my birthday gift. Of course, she excitably said yes! I booked the date & despite my own apprehensions & then the weather looking ominous, Michelle ensured my comfort at all times & even managed to keep my boys/her nephews focused which isn’t an easy task!
About a week later Michelle showed us the final result and I was wrapped - she had achieved a wonderful variety of photographs for us that were both beautiful and natural. Most surprisingly, I was actually happy with how I looked!
Not long after we had seen the photos, I asked my youngest boy what he would like for his 8th birthday and his response wasn’t what I expected. “A photo of u & me together Mummy”. It just melted my heart.
Looking in the mirror I don’t see myself as a supermodel or a superhero... I’m not particularly good at sport, I’m no chef, plus I can’t fix all of life’s problems… but to my boys I’m all those things & more, and I don’t think us Mums take the time to stop & realise that. They love me for who I am, not for all the unrealistic things I wish I could be.
I now look at the gorgeous photographs hanging on our walls and I wonder why I allowed my own insecurities to stand in the way of doing it sooner and giving my boys these precious memories of us all together."